A brand new season of Blantyre Bowling Club opened on the evening of Thursday 11th May 1916. Like many organisations during WW1, thoughts were also on those members currently not in Britain, fighting on the front.
The remaining members of the club set the opening bowl a-rolling for another season, marking hope for the future and the continuation of some sort of normality but not under the happiest of weather, as rain fell heavily at the appointed time.
After the usual formal proceedings in which the president (Mr William Groves) threw the first jack and bowl, there was a short game the President taking on Vice-President (Mr Matthew Davidson). This resulted in a win for the former by four shots 38-34. At the close of the game an adjournment was made to the nearby Bowlhouse when the time-honoured opening “smoker” was held.
Mr Groves occupied the chair, and Mr Davidson was vicechairman. A couple of hours of harmony was spent, the “talent” being quite the usual high standard associated with this opening. After the musical entertainment, various toasts were proposed and responded the Chairman, Mr Matthew Davidson, Mr Jas. Donald (Uddingston), Mr Wm. Roxburgh (Bothwell). A. B. Maxwell, Mr James Brownlie, Mr Reid and Donald Johnstone.
The green was looking in tip top order with exception of only one small part, which had subsided in earlier months. This peculiarity was a result of the coal workings and was not a great concern, rather a circumstance which the members would speedily remedy if things were more “settled.” I’m not sure if the bowling club still gets indentations in the green every now and again, but hopefully the mine movements below have settled.
Pictured here around a decade earlier by early photographer David Ritchie is a remarkable, previously unseen photo of Blantyre Bowling Club members. Taken around 1905 or so on the green currently laid out today. This is the north east corner, in the background you can just make out the shadows of Dixon’s Rows housing. Whilst there’s no names, I do recognise one of the members. Mr Thomas Scott, the farmer of Back Priestfield is pictured centre, 4th from the left. Many of the men are holding pipes, confirming they liked a smoke! This photo has been recently coloured for illustrating this article.
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
Lesley Bethel Great photo!!
Ian Burch By order of the Peaky Blinders
Elizabeth Grieve It’s a shame that it’s coloured
Blantyre Project Just curious. Whys that Elizabeth? The colour is fairly sympathetic and adds some realism as to how it would actually have looked. I can post the black and white too. I was pleased to get a colour version of this done.
Elizabeth Grieve Blantyre Project I feel you get more definition with the black and white and it adds more realism to the photo.
Jeanette Turvey Thanks for sharing Thomas Scott is in my family tree thomas Thomas Wilson is his nephew and my great great great grandad
Paul Gaffney Bunnets and pipes Matter.
Blantyre Project absolutely they did by the looks of it, as well as polished shoes and pocket watches.
Paul Gaffney That was when you could leave your house unlocked and go for a pint .